Julius Randle has been a big reason the long-suffering New York Knicks have made the playoffs in two of the last three seasons and finally got past the first round this past spring.
He joined the team as a free agent in 2019, and he has taken his game to a higher level over the last three years.
Recently, Randle returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, where he is originally from, and during his trip back home, his high school retired his No. 30 jersey with him present.
Special day for our guy 3️⃣0️⃣
Julius Randle visited his high school and was surprised with a jersey retirement ceremony 👏 pic.twitter.com/6VdxiYd2bA
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) August 25, 2023
After one season at Kentucky, Randle was taken by the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 7 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, giving him the opportunity to play with the legendary Kobe Bryant and learn from him.
Unfortunately, the power forward suffered a severe leg injury in his very first regular-season game and had to sit out virtually the entire season.
Going into the 2020-21 campaign, the Knicks appeared to have no shot at the playoffs, and just about everyone outside of the Tri-state area was predicting another frustrating season for them.
But Randle picked up his game, averaging 24.1 points and 10.2 rebounds a game while shooting 41.1 percent from 3-point range, and New York went 41-31, giving them the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
After falling back to Earth the following year, they perked up again this past season, winning 47 games with the help of newcomer Jalen Brunson, who emerged as their newest star.
In the playoffs, even though Randle struggled, the Knicks got past the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in the first round, giving them their first playoff series victory in 10 years.NEXT: Stephen A. Smith Tries To Recruit East Superstar To The Knicks